Tokyo, Dec. 3 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government adopted a basic policy on drawing up its fiscal 2022 budget at a cabinet meeting on Friday, clarifying its stance of putting “fiscal health after the economy.”
In the budget policy, the government stressed its eagerness to make all-out efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the government “will take all possible measures without being hesitant on fiscal spending necessary to tackle the crisis.”
At a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy prior to the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the government will compile a fiscal 2021 supplementary budget and the fiscal 2022 budget as a combined “16-month budget” to “carry out appropriate economic and fiscal management seamlessly.”
Following the recent discovery of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the budget policy mentioned growing fears of a resurgence of infections and indicated that the government will closely watch the impact of the new variant on the domestic and overseas economies.
The policy called for conducting border controls while assuming the worst-case scenario.
Regarding the country’s growth strategy, the policy said the country will make bold investments with three main goals–the realization of a nation with advantages in science and technology, the revitalization of regional areas using digital technologies under the “Digital Garden City Nation” initiative and the promotion of economic security.
Under the policy, the government will also promote pay hikes as part of efforts to realize Kishida’s key policy of achieving a virtuous circle of economic growth and wealth redistribution.
In order to rectify problems related to the current single-year fiscal management, the government will establish a fund for supporting multi-year projects.
Meanwhile, the government did not state in the budget policy that it would “proceed with a thorough review of expenditures without sanctuary,” the wording seen in such policies of recent years, due to opposition from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.